I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Transported”

 

Transported

Trees whiz past and the wind ruffles his hair, as the young man flies down the hill and approaches another steep grade in the road. His legs begin to tire as he peddles his bike up the hill. It has been a time of reflection and he isn’t at ease with his thoughts.

He peddles harder.

Finally cresting the hill he stops and gazes out over the beautiful meadow stretched out over what seems to be miles. The grass is a rich green dotted with wild flowers. The few trees reach high into the sky, and a lone bird swoops past.

He takes a deep breath, glances up at the sun, and places his foot back on the bikes peddle.

Pushing off, he coasts down the hill without the effort of having to peddle. The wind rushes through his hair, his eyes water from the force of the wind, and taking his hands off the handle bars he raises them high in the air and loudly shouts out of sheer joy.

The front wheel suddenly twists as it hits a rock in the road and flying through the air the young man hits hard as he lands several feet away from his twisted and mangled bicycle.

He lies unconscious as a Man slowly walks across the meadow toward him. The young man, in his unconscious state is unaware that he has entered another dimension.

The Man is talking to him and telling the young man he needs to get straight with God. “Only my children can enter heaven and the only way to do that is through me,” the Man states.

The boy, in his altered state, looks at the Man standing before him and says, “Everyone says that Jesus isn’t the only way.”

“I am the way, the truth, and the life,” the Man states. “There is no other way. I am the only way to the Father.”

The young man’s eyes begin to flutter slightly and gradually he shakes his head to shake off the fuzziness of his clouded mind. Slowly he sits up and sees his mangled bike.

Then he remembers.

“I am the only way.”

***

John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

***

Television celebrities, some pastors, and people in general have been very misled as to how we get to heaven. Many think that being a “good person” is the key. So many times we hear people proclaim, “I haven’t robbed, stolen, or killed anyone. Of course I’m going to heaven.” And the lie the enemy of God, the devil, uses the most is, “A loving God will not send people to hell.” Television is a media that reaches millions of people worldwide and to hear a known celebrity speak out and proclaim that Jesus is not the only way, is a travesty. How society has been deceived! Throughout scripture Jesus and His disciples make it quite clear that Jesus is the way. Jesus Himself states that He is the only way to the Father. False religions rely on the ignorance of people to God’s Word. If only we would read, believe, and trust what God, through His Son, tells us. There is only one way to enter the kingdom of heaven and that is confessing, and believing, Jesus Christ is Lord. That He is God’s Son and He died and arose for the forgiveness of our sins. Then, and only then, will we spend eternity with Him.  Without Him it is literally hell!

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Clicker”

 

Carrying the clicker in her hand she enters the room. Several people fill the room and a clank, clank, clank is heard. A whispered groan is heard nearby. Placing her purse in the appointed cubby hole, A Man greets her with a smile.

Her nerves are on a bit of an edge for she knows this is going to hurt, at least she thinks it is. She glances in the direction of the clanking sound and groans under her breath. She’s familiar with what’s causing the sound.

The Man gives her directions and within a moment in time she’s grunting and pushing.

Click One – Click two- Click three- Click four – Click five, she presses on until she reaches thirty.

She gives a long sigh of relief and looks up. The Man is standing in front of her smiling and pointing to the next area she’s to go to.

She sucks in a deep breath and as she hobbles to the next station He tells her she’s  done great. She struggles to follow His instructions that will help in her recovery.

Ahhhh yes, recovery. Her damaged knee is hurting and yet she knows she must endure. She looks about the room and feels a bit guilty. Shoulders, knees, hips, feet, and arms are all being worked on. Many worse than what she is enduring.

Click one – Click two – click three – click four.

As the weeks pass she has come to jokingly call this place the “torture chamber.” Her recovery exercises has been increased in intensity and now she wants to sock the Man. He stands beside her as she presses on; encouraging her, laughing with her when she raises a fist toward Him with a threatening look.

She sits on the table as He presses, at times gently, and not so gently at other times, while He messages “goo” on her injured knee. “I am the I Am,” He states, with a twinkle in His eyes, as she threatens to lay Him out flat, “Trust Me and you shall be healed.”

She lowers her fist.

***

Jeremiah 30:17 – “For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord.”

***

Jehovah Rapha is another name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It means, Lord, my Healer. As we go through the physical pains from injuries or illnesses we can choose to trust not only a Doctor, a physical therapist, or a nurse, but more importantly we are to trust Jehovah Rapha, our Healer. He promises to heal those who trust in Him and that healing can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. It is not always easy and we must do our part in our healing process and allow Him to do His part. We turn our pain over to Him and trust His promises to bring healing. The small counter; “clicker” as I call it, really helps if you like to chat while doing the exercises in physical therapy.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Risking it All”

 

The moon is partly hidden in the dark sky. The crew is sound asleep after a hard day’s work. Snores fill the fire fighters rooms and dreams flicker through their minds.

The blare of the fire alarm brings all snapping to attention and jumping from their bunks they don their gear quickly and with much practice. While slamming a helmet on their heads they race to the big red fire truck.

Kevin jumps behind the wheel and the Man slides in beside him. He flips a switch and the air is filled with the scream of the siren as Kevin maneuvers the big rig out onto the street. They scream through the silent dark streets and arrive at a house engulfed in flames. The crew rush to pull the hoses out of their compartments, others hook them to nearby fire hydrants and truck tanks. Commands are shouted and men go about their task of saving a home as best they can like busy ants on an important mission.

People have come to stand on their porches clad in night gowns and pajamas. Someone shouts, “There’s a baby inside,” as the mother screams and tries to get to the inflamed door of her home. The heat pushes her back and she falls to her knees sobbing.

Kevin sucks in a breath and shouts, “I’m going in!” The Man grabs his arm and states, “I’m going with you!” Kevin nods and the two of them rush into the burning inferno.

The cry of a child can barely be heard over the roar of the fire. Visibility is almost nil and the Man shouts, “I’ve got your back. The baby is over there.” Kevin crawls through the dense smoke toward where the Man pointed and finds the child. Together they rush through the room and down the stairs just as the roof caves in inches behind them.

The crowd cheers as the mother screams and runs full speed toward Kevin and the Man as they exit the blazing house. She grabs her coughing, crying baby as the E.M.T. places an oxygen mask over the baby’s face.

“Thank you Jesus,” she cries while placing her baby on the ambulance gurney.

The Man looks at her and smiles, “Your welcome,” He states and gives Kevin a high-five.

***

Philippines 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

***

“I don’t need God!” “I can do this myself!” These are a couple of common statements that many make without thinking. We as humans do not realize that we can do nothing without God. Every breath we take is because He has ordained it and can take it away at any second of any day. We may not be fire fighters that risk their lives rushing in to save someone in a burning building, or a police officer that stands in the line of fire every time he or she steps out of their vehicle, or an Emergency Medical Technician that can contract who knows what from treating someone on the side of the road. We all need Christ by our side helping us through the decisions and tasks of everyday living. If you haven’t asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, do so now. Your next breath may be your last.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Wheel”

Imagine it. The horses are tethered, they stomp their feet in anticipation of a long trek and snort their disapproval of having to wait. John and Tom crawl up onto the driver’s seat as the Man, with spurs jingling, throws open the stage door and takes His seat on the hard wooden bench. John gives a loud whistle as he cracks the whip above the horses and the coach jerks forward.

The day is hot even though the sun has just risen. The Man reaches up and takes His big white hat off and lays it on the seat beside Him as He leans back against the hard wooden seat. It will be a long ride along the dusty path. The wind blows his hair and reaching up He moves it out of His eyes. He can hear John and Tom talking and occasionally laughter fills the air. He smiles and closes His eyes and is soon asleep.

A sudden jolt and dangerous tilting of the coach startles the Man awake throwing Him against the wall. One side of the coach has collapsed and the coach suddenly stops. John and Tom jump down from their perch and Tom wrings his hands while groaning loudly. “What are we going to do?” he shouts while pacing back and forth, spurs jingling, in front of the broken wheel. “Where’s the Man?” he shouts and spins around to see the Man carefully maneuvering His way out of the coach and popping His hat back on His head. In spinning around, Tom catches his pants leg on a spur, and down he goes. He hollers, “Ouch!”

The Man stands for a moment and brushes the dust off His chaps. When He looks up He sees Tom on the ground rubbing his behind.

The Man shakes His head while chuckling.

Tom pulls himself up and runs to the Man, “The wheel is broken, what are we to do? We don’t have a spare. We’re stuck out here!” Sweat pours down his face and he quickly swipes it out of his eyes. Fear has gripped him and the Man gently places His hand on Tom’s shoulder, “Fear not, Tom, I am with you.”

The Man walks to the side of the stage-coach. He stands studiously peering at the good wheel with John and Thomas close behind Him.

“Sit!” the Man says to the two men. “I want to tell you something.” They sit down, Tom easing himself down gently, onto the ground and looks up at Him. “He’s going to tell us a story in the midst of this crisis?” Tom thinks while rubbing his backside. John sits quietly waiting.

“Do you see this wheel?” the Man asks, pointing to the good stage-coach wheel.

Both nod yes. “This wheel represents the body of Christ.” Tom whispers, “Huh?” The Man smiles and then continues. “The spokes are My children.” Tom moves his hat aside and scratches his head. John nods. “Pay attention, Tom!” The Man demands. “Each spoke is equal but each has been given a divine purpose. One has a gift of prophecy, another has the gift of exhortation, another is a teacher, another is a home maker, and another a preacher. All work together to make the wheel, the church, strong.”

The Man reaches over and takes hold of one of the spokes and gives it a good jerk. “As long as these spokes cling tightly to the hub the wheel will remain strong and sturdy. I tell you the truth; I am the Hub that holds it all together.”

“Okay.” Tom states and glances up at the hot sun shining down on them.

“Now let’s go look at the broken wheel,” The Man states.  The two men stand and walk to the broken wheel. The broken and crushed wheel lies tilted on the dirt beside the coach. Splinters and jagged wood protrude from it. The rim is bent beyond repair. It’s useless.

“What do you see?” the Man asks. Tom is quick to reply, “A broken, crushed wheel and we’re stuck out here in this heat.”

“Oh ye of little faith.  Look at it! I tell you the truth, the body of Christ is broken!”

“Huh?” Tom says. John nods in understanding.

“My shepherds are not teaching My Word. They are following the dictates of what the people want to hear. They are accepting evil as good and turning good into evil! Instead of loving one another as I love them they are divided. They are accepting the ploys of the enemy to destroy their faith. When one falls away the others are quick to condemn.”

Tom sits quietly rubbing his behind where the spurs dug in, and John asks, “I’m not sure I fully understand. How does this relate to this broken wheel and the circumstances we are in?”

“Do you not yet understand, John? When one spoke is broken the wheel can still turn, the others offer support. It keeps the wheel from completely falling apart. But when several spokes break it weakens the whole wheel until eventually the wheel cannot move forward.” Pointing to the broken wheel, He continues. “It lies dead in the sand. Just like that! Now what good is that wheel?” He asks sternly.

Tom states dejectedly, “Good for nothing.”

“That’s where my church is heading unless the body repents and comes together in unity. If My children will turn back to Me I will hear their prayers and heal their land but they must stop being weak in their faith, silent in the face of evil, and stand up to the sins in the world or the church will be as weak and damaged and useless as this wheel!”

Tom shifts uncomfortably. He still doesn’t get it and asks, “But what are we to do?” and thinks, We’re still stuck out here.  

The Man turns and points to a large stick in the distance. “Have faith! Tom, go get that long stick over there.”

“What for?” Tom asks, carefully getting up off the ground.

“You’ll see. Just trust Me.”

Tom retrieves the long stick. “Now what?”

“Strike that broken wheel three times with it.”

“Huh? What good is that going to do?”

“Just do it, Tom!” The Man states emphatically.

Shaking his head in bewilderment Tom strikes the broken wheel.

The Man tosses His hat on the wooden seat and leans back as the dust from the spinning coach wheels and the horse’s hooves billows through the open window, When are they going to trust Me!? He thinks and closes His eyes.

***

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will guide your paths.”

***

There are so many situations and circumstances that we find ourselves in that at times we merely stand and scratch our heads wondering. “What in the world are we going to do now? In our flesh (humanness) we try to figure things out and at times we just cannot come up with a solution. If we turn to the One who has the answers we will find life’s problems aren’t as complicated as we sometimes think they are. If we reach out to Christ in those “head scratching” moments, it can become a time of, “Oh wow, why didn’t I think of that?” moments.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “We Were Not Alone”

 

We Were Not Alone

Her nerves are stretched to where she feels she can stand this no more. She slams on the brakes of the car in the parking lot and sits staring at nothing as the motor idles. Her mind seems to have gone on hold. No thoughts, no feelings, no nothing. It’s been too much.

Finally, shaking her head as though to awaken from a deep sleep, she turns the ignition off, and takes a long agonizingly deep breath and steps out of the car.

Walking into the building she walks to the elevator and rises to the third floor. Slowly she opens a door and enters into a plush waiting room with a fake palm tree in one corner, enticing comfortable chairs, and carpet so thick she feels she could curl up on it like a cozy warm bed.

She signs the sheet on the clip board and takes a seat. Glancing at the stack of magazines she ignores a Man sitting across the room. Then her name is called.

For thirty minutes she sits with her hands folded tightly in her lap and tells her counselor about a horrifying memory of her childhood. Tears stream, she wants to scream but takes a deep breath and fights to maintain control.

He’s sympathetic and asks several questions. She replies as best she can. One question arises that throws her into a tizzy. “Where was Jesus when this happened?”

She bolts out of the chair and paces.

The Doctor waits.

Unbeknownst to her the Man has entered the room.

He waits.

She stomps across the room and with fists tightly clenched at her sides, she stares out the window at the parking lot below. Tears stream down her face. She fights to subdue her anger.

“Where was Jesus?” the Doctor asks again and she spins around facing him. “I don’t know!” she almost screams.

She runs her hands through her hair in a frantic, hopeless and frustrated gesture, and plops down on the couch. She closes her eyes trying to fight the flood of tears that want to rush down her cheeks, and before the Doctor can say anything a vision appears before her.

The vision is so clear of Jesus on His knees with tears streaming down His face and begging His Father to stop what is happening to this child. His pain is so evident and His agony is even greater than the child’s that He’s praying for, her!

On the couch she is shaking violently and sobbing. Now she knows the answer.

***

Luke 22:42 – “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

***

Even Jesus asked His Father to not let this happen, and yet He suffered greatly, even unto death. Children do not have the physical or emotional ability to stop abuse that is being inflicted upon them; be it emotional, physical, or sexual. They cry out in many instances to deaf ears and blind eyes begging for it to stop. The hurt goes so deep it becomes anger and many times that anger is directed straight at God. “Why didn’t You stop it!?” “He did nothing!” is how many deal with those issues. As in the story above, the great I Am was there. He can’t reach down and stop the torment being inflicted, but He is praying fervently for the child. He knows our suffering. He knows our tears, His heart is being ripped out at seeing what we are going through, then and now. He is with us through it all. We can blame God, or we can reach out to Him to help us overcome all that was done. If the suffering is continuing through your thoughts and memories, reach out to Christ. Invite Him into your suffering. He’s waiting to take you in His arms and heal your heart.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Death had its Grip”

Death had its Grip

The air is deathly still and the sun beats down in waves across the dry, barren desert floor. The Man stands gazing out across the parched land. He reaches back and lifts His hair up off His neck and gazes up at the sun.

He drops His hand and turns to gaze at the distant mountains. A vulture squawks as it circles above a short distance ahead. “Be gone!” the Man demands and the vulture flies off toward the mountains.

Walking in the direction where the vulture had hovered, He stops next to a desert shrub. The rattle of a rattle snake fills His ears and looking down he sees the snake coiled and ready to strike. He points His index finger directly at the snake and says nothing. The snake suddenly uncoils and slithers off in the opposite direction.

Continuing ahead He sees what appears to be something lying on the desert floor. He can’t make out what it is at this distance but His Spirit tells Him that whatever it is needs help. He rushes across the hot cracked ground toward the object and upon arriving He sees it is a man lying face down.

Kneeling beside the man He places His hand on his neck and detects no pulse. The Man stands, looks toward heaven and prays. Sweat rolls down His back as He leans over the dead man and with all Authority given to Him by His Father He commands the dead man to rise.

The man lying on the ground takes a deep breath and slowly rolls onto his back. His eyes slowly open and with blurred vision He sees the Man kneeling over him. He raises a hand above his eyes to block the sun’s glare.

The Man offers him a drink of water from His wine skin and the man greedily grabs it and begins to drink. “Go slow,” the Man tells the stranger. “What is your name?” He asks as the man takes another swallow of the water.

“Jethro.” The man answers. “Who are you?” He hands the wine skin back to the Man.

“I am the I Am.” The Man answers.

“Where am I am?” the man asks as he tries to sit up.  His hands are scorched, his face sunburned, and sweat has soaked his clothes.

“You are in the desert. You were lost but now you are found.”

The man looks around at the vast desert that surrounds him and states, “You saved me. How can I repay you? How did you find me?”

The Man looks at him intently and states emphatically, “I want your life!”

“What?! But you just…”

“I just saved your life for a time. But believe in Me and you shall never die.”

~~~

John 11:26  “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

~~~

All of us have an appointed time on this earth. We work, we play, we raise our children and many of us never think farther than our hope of retirement.  In this scripture Lazarus has died but as you read the story, it isn’t the end. We mourn the loss of friends and loved ones but are they only gone for a time, like Lazarus? If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we will see our loved one again, providing they, too, have Jesus as their Savior.  As Christians we will never die. We merely shed the flesh, step into glory, and live on for all of eternity with our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Do you believe?

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “IS ANYBODY AT HOME?”

The leaves have turned to their golden hues, the oranges are bright, the browns deep, and the yellow sends a subdued brilliance across the land. The sidewalks are cleared and the homes luxurious. The Man stops in front of the large home and stares at its magnificence.

He enters the open gate and slowly walks the long tree-lined brick lain driveway to the front door and reaches for the gold-plated door bell. He waits. There is no sound of footsteps so He presses the button again.

He waits.

The third time He presses the button He steps back and looks around. A large dog in the yard barrels around the corner barking furiously and bearing its large teeth. The Man smiles. There is no fear and the dog stops beside Him and wagging his tail licks the Man’s hand. No one comes to the door so the man pats the dog on the head and returns to the street.

As He walks slowly down the tree-lined street He gazes at the beauty of the colorful trees and landscaping of the homes. He walks the long circular driveway of another home and steps up to the etched glass door and rings the doorbell.

He hears footsteps approaching and the door is cautiously opened slowly and a maid with her black uniform and white apron asks who He is and what He wants.

“I am the I Am.” the Man replies. “May I speak to the head of the household?”

The maid looks at Him curiously and replies, “Just a moment,” and disappears behind the closed-door.

The master of the house appears and with a smirk asks, “What can I do for you?”

The Man reaches His hand out to shake the owners hand but the owner just looks at the Man’s hand and doesn’t reciprocate. The Man nods and simply states, “I am the I Am. You need Me.”

Laughter fills the air as the owner stands with his hand on the door knob laughing as though he’s just been told a very funny joke.

The Man waits.

The laughter has turned to a snarl and the owner states emphatically, “Look around you! Look at this home! Do you see the Lambro Deni in the drive? Do you see all that I have accomplished; the big home, the beautiful car, the magnificent landscaping? You fool! I don’t need anything you are offering!” He steps back and slams the door in the Man’s face.

The Man moves on down the street and when receiving the same arrogant greeting at several of the homes, He stops in front of a shack that the neighbors have tried to get condemned.

The grass is overgrown. Weeds line the partially collapsed fence. The shingles need repair, and one window is cracked and barely hanging onto the frame. He walks to the splintered, weather-beaten wooden door being careful on the three broken steps and knocks loudly.

“Who is it?” is yelled from the other side.

“I am the I Am.” the Man states.

The door flings open on its rickety hinges. A woman rushes out to meet the Man. She’s dressed in a ragged dress, bare feet, and hair a mess. Her face is lined with life’s pressures and yet her eyes sparkle with tears of joy as she hugs the Man and states, “Come in, come in. I just made some soup.”

The Man steps inside.

***

Proverbs 11:4 – “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”

***

The Lottery lines are long when the jackpot rises to millions of dollars. Thousands of people stand in line with fancy dreams floating through their minds. “If only I can win, then I’ll…” is the dream. Casinos are loud, smoky, and filled with hopes and dreams of “hitting the big one” and many walk away disappointed for their dream was not fulfilled. Men and women work day in and day out to climb the corporate ladder to gain the success they feel will put them on top only to find the internal emptiness is still there. In our quest for “the good things of life;” that large house, new car, expensive silk suits, and fine jewelry, we often times forget that there are no moving trucks allowed in heaven. All the work, all the sacrifices we make, are left behind when we take our last earthly breath. When that last breath is exhaled we will find ourselves in one of two places; heaven or hell. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy but riches will not buy us a ticket into heaven! Christ will hand us the key to His kingdom freely if we reach out for it. Riches might satisfy for a time but they will only bring us great torment and sorrow and lead us into Satan’s domain if we rely on our wealth and not on faith in Jesus Christ. Eternity is a very long, unending time, and no amount of money and wealth can keep us from spending eternity in eternal torment and agony, or spending it in great love, peace, and joy.

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